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Friday February 05, 2016

H1Z1 Money Grab Begins with Game's Split?

TechLarry, long time cynical [H] reader, makes the point that the H1Z1 developers are out to grab more money for the stupid and wandering lifeless masses...and you too. Actually what is happening is that the makers are splitting its yet-to-really-be-released game H1Z1 into two games, each costing $20 in the very near future. However, if you buy H1Z1 before February 18th, you still get both versions of the game for $20

So, we’ve decided to do just that – we’re excited to announce that the survival game will now be called H1Z1: Just Survive, with a renewed focus on truly delivering a persistent, open-world zombie survival experience where scavenging, crafting, and base building are the difference between life and death.

We’re also excited to announce that the fast-paced shooter comprised of multiple, fight-to-the-death game modes, including Battle Royale, will be called H1Z1: King of the Kill (KotK).

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Thermaltake Launches 3DMakers Site

Can't find the exact part you are looking for in your latest PC build? Thermaltake is looking to make that a situation that will never happen again. 3DMakers.com allows users to upload and download free 3D printable PC mods of all kinds. If you are into 3D printing, and you might be soon, you will be glad to learn that all of the files are in a 3D-print-ready STL format. While this is in its infancy, I can see this getting big in the coming years. You know, before the death of the PC. Thermaltake already has a some files ready for download to 3D print that you can use to further modify your new Core P5 Thermaltake chassis.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider Patch

I have yet to get into a good gaming session of Rise of the Tomb Raider, but I do know that Brent is working on an article right now to look at gaming performance. However it looks like all of his work just got pushed towards File 13 since this ROTR patch was just released and it does address a lot of graphics issues. While there are many more fixes listed than just these, these are the ones that stuck out to my eye.

New graphics option 'Specular Reflection Quality' to enhance resolution and reduce aliasing of specular reflections, at some performance cost.

New graphics option to disable film-grain independently from 'Screen Effects'.

Improved HBAO+ quality, including better occlusion for distant objects.

Improved NVIDIA SLI performance. (Steam only)

Fixed SLI glitches during water/snow effects. (Steam only)

Then I got to thinking, "What about Laura Croft...naked?" And I found this to share. Thank you ObsoleteGamer.com page with nothing on it, but bigger thanks to Google for the image cache. (Possibly NSFW, but SFW if no one is looking, you know what I mean.)

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Discussion

Custom Lego Computer Chassis

This is not even close to the first time we have seen this done, but Mike Schropp over at TotalGeekdom has put together one of the most elegant Lego computer chassis examples I have ever seen. Typically the builders go with a bit of an overbright or corny look. Mike has not done that at all. I like this guy because he has gone beyond just putting bricks around his components, but also is custom re-building some of his components to work better in his system. Build you own PC in seconds at PC Hound, don't think you can prebuy a Lego case though you lazy bastard!

My thinking therefore took a turn to the "what if…" What if the design of the case was built to try to match the hardware better, to be more efficient in its packaging and system cooling? So I started looking into where improvements could be made. The thing that really stood out to me the most at this point was the inherent design drawbacks in system cooling. Here the standard box cases are, again, adequate. They rely on convection and usually an intake and exhaust fan (or more) cycling air through the system, exchanging fresh air for heated air. The downside of this system is that it doesn’t really control where the air is directed, and in most cases you end up with a lot of localized hot spots within the case because they do not have direct airflow. This allows for certain components to run hotter and, as a result, be less stable in a highly stressed system and more prone to failure.

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Discussion

IRS Back Up and Running! Yea!

Well maybe not "yea," but the IRS did spend some time in our forums last night and get all its hardware questions answered today...obviously...because the IRS fixed its hardware problems.

Discussion

NVIDIA Looking HOT to nVestors

While many have questioned NVIDIA business moves over the last few years outside of it main consumer GPU realm, it seems as though some folks are making some big bets on NVIDIA in the coming months. Dorsey Wright & Associates purchased over $3.5M worth of NVIDIA stock in Q4. However they are not alone, as ClariVest Asset Management LLC purhased over $20.5M worth of stock.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. ClariVest Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in NVIDIA during the fourth quarter worth approximately $20,651,000. Acadian Asset Management increased its position in shares of NVIDIA by 3,321.5% in the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management now owns 330,960 shares of the computer hardware maker’s stock worth $10,908,000 after buying an additional 321,287 shares during the last quarter.

Discussion

Napolitano Brings Big Brother to U of California

It looks as if University of California President Janet Napolitano was looking to keep this on the down-low, but that is not going to happen now as some of the other academic elite seem to have a high regard for privacy. Hit up the Daily Bruin, we read it every day, for all the 411.

The University of California Office of the President has installed computer hardware capable of monitoring email transactions among computers across the University of California system.

In the email sent out to members of faculty, Ligon said the UCOP asked members of the committee to keep this monitoring a secret. He added he thinks as a member of a UC Academic Senate committee, continued silence on behalf of the committee will make them an accomplice in violation of policies of shared governance and academic freedom.

Discussion

Get Off Your Ass and Help this Guy

Dude! You know when a guy that lurks this hard comes out into the daylight to ask a question, well, you know it is friggin' important. This is Eruden's third post in the HardForum in the last 10 years. So you computer audio experts get in there and help this guy out.

Clueless Gamer Super Bowl Edition: "Doom"

This edition of Clueless Gamer has Conan playing DOOM with a couple NFL players. I'll admit, this installment isn't very funny and there isn't a lot of game footage either but I'll take what I can get.

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Most Windows Security Flaws Mitigated By 'Removing Admin Rights'

According to a new report, almost ninety percent of vulnerabilities targeting Windows last year could have been prevented by removing administrative rights.

The report, released on Thursday by security firm Avecto said a total of 85 percent of critical flaws affecting the operating system could've been stopped at the gate, and prevented from spreading deep into system files. Administrator accounts are common among consumer and home PCs, because they give users access to everything on the computer. But malware, when it strikes, also gets the same privileges. That means malware or hackers can modify core Windows files, and steal or destroy data.

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Robot That Changes Color To Blend Into Its Surroundings

Just great, now we won't be able to see them coming when they try to KILL US ALL! At least it moves really slow. I'm pretty sure I can still get away from that by just walking fast.

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ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Horus GK2000

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the Horus GK2000 mechanical gaming keyboard. It has a built-in 32-bit micro-programmed control unit (MCU) and 4MB of onboard memory, plus an intuitive ROG user interface that allows users to customize macro and function keys for complex multi-key commands with just a single keystroke. ROG Horus GK2000 has a premium, high-quality feel and has CNC-processed aluminum accents with a special topcoat finish. It also features a removable palm rest, 2-way adjustable feet, and a detachable stand for mobile devices.

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Thursday February 04, 2016

Google Now Testing Self-Driving Cars In Washington

If you live in Kirkland, Washington you should keep your eyes out for Google's self-driving cars starting next month. Google must want to see how those things handle in the rain.

The company's Google unit has conducted autonomous vehicle testing for six years in Mountain View, California, where it is based, and it expanded testing to Austin, Texas last summer. Google said in a statement that one reason for the new site in the northwest United States is to gain experience in "different driving environments, traffic patterns, and road conditions."

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Apple Ordered To Pay $625M In FaceTime Patent Lawsuit

A federal jury in Texas decided Apple must pay VirnetX Holding Corp. more than $625 million for using the patent licensing company's internet security technology without permission in FaceTime and iMessage. eek!

VirnetX has been a thorn in Apple's side (and a good chunk of the tech industry) for the better part of this decade. It first sued Apple in 2010 over the alleged use of virtual private network (VPN) patents in FaceTime video chats, and has been successful enough in court to wring hundreds of millions of dollars out of the folks in Cupertino. And today, it's striking again: a court has ordered Apple to pay $625 million dollars for purportedly using VirnetX's security tech in both FaceTime and iMessage. That's actually more than the $532 million VirnetX had wanted, and a huge windfall for a company that has little business outside of lawsuits (aka a patent troll).

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Bitfenix Pandora @ CowcotLand

ETC.: G.Skill Ripjaws SR910 7.1 @ Hardware Asylum

Zotac NEN SN970 Steam Machine @ ThinkComputers

Storage: Micron M600 512GB SSD @ NikKTech

OCZ TRION 150 240GB SSD @ Guru3D

Video: Gainward GTX 960 Phantom 4GB @ Legion Hardware

EU Clears Western Digital Acquisition Of SanDisk

The European Commission has given a green light to Western Digital's acquisition of SanDisk. The EU approved the deal after finding that the takeover wouldn’t negatively impact competition in Europe.

In October, Western Digital agreed to buy SanDisk in a $19 billion deal that will increase its ability to make flash memory storage chips used in smartphones and tablets. "I am pleased that we have been able to ensure that this multi-billion dollar deal in a fast-developing industry can go ahead without delay," Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a statement.

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Date Site Users Regularly Scammed

Scammers are using dating sites to take advantage of people? Who knew? Remember back in the old days when you had to meet your date face to face before you were scammed, robbed or beaten. Ahhh, those were the days. wink

Research showed that 48% of those questioned in the UK, France and Germany for the survey had received spam and scam messages from others on dating services. Around 32% had received requests for cash from the people they got talking to and 28% had been catfished - ie tricked by someone who had assumed a fake identity by stealing images or videos. About 32% had been threatened with the release of compromising images they had shared and 11% had seen this content put online without their consent.

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Cool Video of the Day

Stop what you are doing right now and watch this time lapse video. I'm not kidding when I say it is one of the coolest things you will see all day. cool

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NASA Planning For A Disastrous Asteroid Strike

Who needs NASA for this stuff? As long as we have people like Bruce Willis and Robert Duvall, everything is going to be just fine.

Talking to Lindley Johnson, the head of NASA’s newly minted Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), is not an uplifting experience. "Even a small asteroid, say 100 meters in size, something the size of a football field, if it were to hit a population center on Earth it would pretty much wipe out the city," he told me during a recent interview.

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I'm Too Out Of Shape For Virtual Reality

Maybe virtual reality games will help people get in shape while having a little fun at the same time. As long as no one tries to market it as a way to get in shape, people will just do it. cool

In virtual reality, you just move. If it's an action game, you instinctively dodge a barrage of deadly lasers. You kneel down to hide behind a crate, only to leap up in a squat-jump to shoot at an enemy behind cover. You're not thinking about it, you're just doing what you have to in order to win. Twenty minutes later, and you've put yourself through an intense cardio workout.

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Get $125 Off The Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming GT

In case you missed it the first time around, anyone in need of a new motherboard can get $125 off the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming GT ATX motherboard by using this $95 code and taking advantage of a $30 MIR. The deal runs until February 5th or while supplies last and includes free shipping.

Gaming [H]eadlines

Batman: Arkham Knight Linux Cancelled @ Blue's News

First Graphics Mod For The Division @ VG24/7

Mirror's Edge Catalyst Story Trailer @ Shacknews

New Minecraft Skin Pack @ GameSpot

Facebook Claims Only 3.46 Degrees Of Separation

According to Facebook, that whole "six degrees of separation" thing is really only 3.46 degrees of separation in the United States.

How connected is the world? Playwrights [1], poets [2], and scientists [3] have proposed that everyone on the planet is connected to everyone else by six other people. In honor of Friends Day, we've crunched the Facebook friend graph and determined that the number is actually 3.57. Each person in the world (at least among the 1.59 billion people active on Facebook) is connected to every other person by an average of three and a half other people. The average distance we observe is 4.57, corresponding to 3.57 intermediaries or "degrees of separation." Within the US, people are connected to each other by an average of 3.46 degrees.

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IRS Having Major Computer Issues

It looks like the IRS is having serious computer problems. The agency says that the hardware failure was bad enough to bring down several of its primary systems.

The IRS experienced a hardware failure this afternoon affecting a number of tax processing systems, which are currently unavailable. Several of our systems are not currently operating, including our modernized e-file system and a number of other related systems. The IRS is currently in the process of making repairs and working to restore normal operations as soon as possible. We anticipate some of the systems will remain unavailable until tomorrow.

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[H]ardware Round-Up

Cases: Corsair Carbide 400Q @ BmR

Cooling: Noctua NH-D15S @ eTeknix

Motherboards: MSI X99A Godlike Gaming @ ocaholic

Power Supply: SilverStone ST70F-PB @ XtremeHardware

Video: GIGABYTE GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming @ HwC

New DOOM Campaign Trailer

There is a new DOOM campaign trailer out today that is mildly NSFW (for blood and gore) depending on where you work. wink

Maybe by the time the game ships on May 13th the game will have shotgun shells that haven't already been fired. You'll notice that when the shotgun is reloaded, the primers on the shells have already been struck. big grin

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Homeless People Lose Internet Access Over Illegal Downloads

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read this. I'm not one to judge, but you'd think everyone having internet access would be more important than downloading illegal content. frown

"We were notified by our Internet service provider that there were people downloading things illegally, and if we didn’t put an end to that, they would turn off Internet to the entire property, which would keep us from being able to do business and provide services," DeCarmine says. Apparently the illegal downloading continued, as did the complaints. This resulted in the Village feeling under pressure to safeguard its Internet connection.

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Google Discloses Flaws in Avast, Comodo and Malwarebytes Products

Google's Project Zero has gone public with serious security flaws found in software offered by security firms Avast, Comodo and Malwarebytes. A patch is already available from Avast, Malwarebyte is working on a fix and Comodo is releasing an update of Chromodo without the offending add-on.

The Google Project Zero security research effort publicly disclosed multiple security flaws in products from big antivirus vendors, such as Avast, Comodo and Malawarebytes. Google is targeting security vendors that have forked the open-source Chromium Web browser to build their own secure browsers. For Avast, Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy reported that the Avastium browser, which is based on Google's open-source Chromium project, is at risk from a remote attacker.

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The Cord-Cutter’s Guide To Watching Super Bowl 50

Here's a few suggestions for all you cord-cutters out there that want to watch Super Bowl 50.

Watching the Super Bowl without an expensive cable package has never been impossible, but it’s easier than ever this year. That’s because CBS is streaming Super Bowl 50 to connected-TV devices, a first for the NFL’s biggest throwdown. (In previous years, users had to rely on workarounds while streaming the game from phones, tablets, or PCs.)

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Google Says 'No More Deceptive Download Buttons'

It's about time something was done about this. Can't a guy just watch some por...online videos...without getting those fake "media player update required" notifications?

In November, we announced that Safe Browsing would protect you from social engineering attacks - deceptive tactics that try to trick you into doing something dangerous, like installing unwanted software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards). You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date. Today, we’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.

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